FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE...beware yon spoilers!

Dec 31, 2010

awesome movie poster friday - the GHANAIAN edition!

Movie theaters came to Ghana in the 1980s thanks to the advent of VHS. Temporary mobile Cinemas were created and traveled from town to town spreading good cheer by showing films like Dolly Dearest. Artists were commissioned to create the posters for the "theaters", and they were given license to paint whatever they wanted on cloth or sacks or whatever else could be rolled up and taken along easily. Frequently, these artists never saw any of the movies at all...and that, my friends, is the answer to the question you surely asked when you saw these posters: why is Ghana bringing the cray cray?

I think we can all agree that the poster for Cujo is the best poster EVER.















Dec 30, 2010

Friday the 13th


clicken ze big big

I don't know why, but there you go. Yes, I'll be doing the other F13 films as well. Again, I don't know why, but there you go!

Dec 29, 2010

you know it!

It's time for some Film Club choosening...so let's do it.

Way back during yon SHOCKtober time, three of you magical people listed a film from yon 1989 time called La Chiesa, or The Church. I'd never heard of it, but seeing it was directed by Michele Soavi, written by Dario Argento, and starred Asia Argento got me all "Hmm, yes." about it. Fast forward to yon now time and that shit is gonna be the first Film Club film of 2011. Can I get a "that shit is gonna be the first Film Club film of 2011" up in here?

It's on Netflix instant, so that's pretty easy for those of you loathe to touch media. I'm still very much "Hmm, yes." about it, and I'm interested to see a film that three of you list among your 20 favorites.



The movie: The Church (La Chiesa) (1989)
The due date: Monday, January 17
What you do:
  1. Review the movie on your site. Add a link to Final Girl in there somewhere. If you've reviewed the film before, that's fine- but you must retrofit your review with a link to FG to be included in my round-up.
  2. Email your link to me at stacieponder at gmail dot com. Put 'film club' or some such in the subject line.
  3. Bask in the warm, glowing, warming glow of Film Club Day. Easy, breezy, et cetera et cetera.
In other news, it's Scare-ening night, so click and listen at 8pmPST. I mean, if you want to. No pressure or anything, geez.

Dec 28, 2010

get the eff outta here, 2010!

That's right, I said get outta here! I'm tired a lookin' at yer ugly mug and I'm ready for some 2011 action. You're old news, baby! Yesterday's garbage! Tomorrow's nothing! I tells ya, I oughta take a lighter and-- what's that, 2010? You're not ready to go yet? Well, listen sister- you're gonna have to before I tear you a new-- wait, are crying? Are you seriously crying, 2010? Wow. Look, maybe I shouldn't have been so hard on you, but you have to admit...at this point, you're pretty used up and I ain't got time to wallow in...oh, fine. Yes. I'll do it.

Y'all, let's give 2010 one last blast of glory, shall we? I haven't done a year-end spectacular since two thousand fucking seven, so...don't tell 2010 this (I don't want her head to get big), but I was planning to do one anyway. After all, the end of the year is the time bloggers look back and then tell everyone how great that year was (this was my most jam-packed year yet, and I'm sure every single post was of the utmost quality), and no one really cares except the blogger. It's like looking into a living cybermirror for me, and that's all that matters!

I don't know what that means, but let's go with it. Let's go with it RIGHT NOW! Please note, the quotes and pictures aren't necessarily related- I just chose quotes and pictures I like. There, that should save you a ha'second of "Huh?"

Is "ha'second" a word? It should be.

The Final Girl Year-End Wrap Up Extravatonydanza

JANUARY

"...look, I'm desperate for excuses to post pictures of the Sagal twins around here, so I'll take what I can get."


The 23:45 project was still going strong- looking back at some of them, I want to pick it up again. It's...you know. Neat. I busted out a My Faves of the Decade and realized that horror in recent times hasn't been as terrible as I was thinking. I launched Operation: 101010, which...well, OKAY. It's a failure. I'm a failure! I thought watching 100 movies in the course of a year would be easy, breezy, and beautiful, but apparently I found it to be anything but. I'll do a wrap-up of it soon, but the short of it is: fa. Ailure. Another failure: that meme in which I was supposed to reveal interesting facts about myself. I revealed the facts, yes, but none were interesting. Reviews in January included Pandorum, Daybreakers (I forgot I saw that!), Jennifer's Body (which I am shocked to find myself often defending), and the rad Film Club selection, Black Sabbath.

FEBRUARY

"For fuck's sake, this movie has blood and naked lesbian ghosts and it still isn't any fun."


Oh, February...you little shortie, you. Despite your status as the shortest month, I sure crammed a lot in ya.

Yes, that's a free "that's what she said" joke for you. Dazzle your friends!

I wished George Romero a happy birthday by making some mock Criterion edition covers of his original zombie trilogy. I'm sure he was touched! I started a few ongoing features that I seem to have forgotten about but I should really resurrect: Friday the 13th Victim of the Week and The Bloggenaires. I apologize to all the Bloggenaires who have filled out their Bloggenaire and are waiting for their Bloggenaire in the Bloggenaire moment in the cybersun. I have no excuse except that I forget everything except the lyrics to the theme from The Facts of Life. Reviews in The Littlest Month included the chug-a-riffic Horror Express, the confounding Witches' Mountain, The Crazies (in which I gave a glimpse into the lengths PR companies go to to dazzle reviewers), and Return of the Living Dead Part II. Meanwhile, Wicked Lake, The Unborn and Return to House on Haunted Hill angried up my blood but good.

Oh, and I still have this painting sitting here! You should buy it.

MARCH

"LOCUSTS TERRORIZE SOUNDSTAGE VILLAGE, NEWS AT ELEVEN"

There was a truly Earth-shattering, groundbreaking. face-rocking-offing event in March: The Scare-ening was born! That's right. Heidi Martinuzzi of FanGirlTastic and I launched our internet radio show/podcast thing to the praise and delight of ourselves, and let's face it: there was life before The Scare-ening, and there's life after The Scare-ening. It changes you.

Okay, that's not really true, but it's fun...for us, anyway. We recently relaunched after a hiatus, and the show is just as pointless as ever. Tune in this Wednesday for our 28th episode! Woo!

Some of the movies reviewed: Cloverfield (meh), Exorcist II: The Heretic (there are no words), Uzumaki (Film Club pick!), Dead Space: Downfall (animated sequel + game coming next month, YEAH!), Vampyres (jonesing to watch it again), Halloween II (FFS, I don't want to think about it EVER), Track of the Moon Beast (a comic review!), and Vinyan (I don't care, I liked it).

I talked about some of the crap I own that I love. Kathryn Bigelow won an Oscar for Best Director. Not bad, March...not bad.

APRIL

Oh no. I'm only 1/3 of the way through the year...not even...and I'm already bored by all this self-indulgence.


The Film Club fucking loved Spider Baby. For some reason I liked The Birds II: Land's End. For some reason I did not like Phantasm IV: Oblivion. The Vampire Lovers...aww, Ingrid Pitt. I love a good reveal, which is probably why I posted about some of my favorites. How weird!

April was kind of dull, so it should come as no shock that reminiscing about it is dull, too. Look, they can't all be gems!

MAY

"Like herpes, Birdemic is best when it's shared."


Oooh, my blood got all a-boil over pushy indie filmmakers. Then I turned around and became a pushy indie filmmaker myself when Taste of Flesh, Taste of Fear went on sale! Okay, that's not true. I mean about the pushy part. There are ways to do things, I think...how to get the word out about yourself and your work without being completely obnoxious about it. I may not always succeed at not being obnoxious, but I do try my darndest. But if I don't tell you about whatever I've got going on here at Final Girl, then how am I supposed to do it? I mean, this is my house. I don't mean that literally.

Or do I?

Anyway, I watched and reviewed a bunch of stuff in May, from The Human Centipede to Life Blood. I watched/reviewed The Descent 2 and talked to Shauna MacDonald about it. to Heather Langenkamp was a guest on The Scare-ening. I paid tribute to Banana Girl and Christopher Lee turned eight effing eight. Film Club went into The Beyond. May was so boss!

JUNE

"At this point, I would like to take a time out to mention that nothing that weighs 11 pounds should ever come out of a vagina, ever. EVER."


Splice and I just did not get along, and I'd rather forget that I spent any time at all with Survival of the Dead. I hated Ghost Game, too, but at least "reviewing" it gave me the opportunity to draw some pictures...and then there was the worst lesbian vampire movie in the history of ever. Sweet Jebus, what a bad streak. Thankfully, [REC] 2 was there to lift my spirits out of a crappy movie-inspired June gloom. The Film Club found out that It's Alive Hey look at the purdy: my favorite posters from the AMPF archive. Oh, and I documented what we already knew: that there are lots of horror movie characters who are way cooler than me.

JULY

"The football-with-a-sword attached is really an inefficient weapon. You have to build the thing, then figure out a way to carry it around without anyone noticing, and then you have to find someone stupid enough to catch it."


Over at The Horror Digest, André asked about everyone's willies and so I complied by talking about mine. I mean...a list of horror movie moments that give me the willies, not...oh, YOU KNOW. The Viscera Film Festival happened here in Los Angeles, and that was cool. Heidi and I welcomed Viscera founder Shannon Lark to The Scare-ening, so if you want to hear all about it, then go hear all about it. An extra-large Film Club visited The House of the Devil. Other than that...hmm. I guess it was too hot to watch movies that month!

AUGUST

"The only question that remains is, why doesn't this tape live in my pants?"


I made up for July's scant movie viewing by gettin' it on with my TV during August. I finally saw Silent Scream after years of anticipation, and...you'll have to read the review to find out if it was worth the wait. Or you'll have to remember the review if you already read it. At any rate, you'll have to do something if you want to know. I gave little bite-sized reviews for Grapes of Death, Rattlers, and Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge...and I couldn't even do that much for A Feast of Flesh. There was also Cthulhu, Zeder, Dracula's Daughter, an anthology of Asian-flavored ghost stories, Messiah of motherfucking Evil, and an ill-advised trip bound for Hell with Hellbound. Oh, and I made an Exorcism Movies Flowchart. Dayum, August was all over-achievery!

SEPTEMBER

"I think she really won my heart when she called her son a 'big dildo'."


I indulged my love of gross possession faces with the Italian Exorcist rip-off Beyond the Door. I proved yet again that I can never get enough Creepshow. I discovered that The Red Shoes are actually pink shoes. I launched Take Back the Knife over at AfterEllen (man, writing about horror for a largely non-horror crowd is weird, my friends!). Together, we celebrated the National Treasure known as Ethel Hubbard. Awesome Movie Poster Friday reached a milestone, and I reached new found heights of WTFness with my trailer for In Satan's Closet.

September was a big beefy mix (whatever that means) of delights, but we all know the truth- it was just a warm up for...

OCTOBER SHOCKTOBER
"I am a moron."

Man, SHOCKtober really brought the cray cray, didn't it? Yes...yes, it did. I know it all seems like a dream at this point, but let's hold hands and remember together: I asked readers to submit lists of their 20 favorite horror films- not the "best", but each person's favorites- and I tallied numbers and compiled a master list. In the end, the master list featured over 700 titles. See? Cray cray! Here's the intro to SHOCKtober, which delves a bit more into the genesis of the project, although it's not much more exciting than what I've written here...I may swear more in that post, however.

Then began a long month of counting down your favorites- all the way from #732 (Dust Devil) to #1 (Halloween). Along the way, we got some special guest Top 20(ish) lists from the likes of Kim Morgan, Lena Headey, Zane & Brea Grant, Richard Harland Smith, Buzz from CampBlood, Amanda by Night, and more. I even gave a couple of Top 20 lists myself. All in all, I'd say it was a successful experiment that leaves but one question: what the fuck am I going to do next year?

Still, the month wasn't completely consumed by THE LIST. The Film Club got all classy with Onibaba, and I wrote about Halloween (the day, not the movie). Okay, so SHOCKtober was 99.7% consumed by THE LIST. Don't act like you didn't love it!

NOVEMBER

"Okay, I admit it. I've got full-blown slasher fever! It's not as exotic and mysterious as dengue fever, nor as quaint as typhoid fever, nor as controversial as jungle fever, nor as irritating as Pac-Man fever, nor as tasty as the fever for the flavor of a Pringles, but I assure you: it's just as real."

As the month kicked off, I just couldn't let go of SHOCKtober..and thus, a post-game show with number-crunching and other useless info.

Right after that, I launched a website and fundraising page for what I hope to be my next major film, Diet! Diet! My Darling!- a feature-length slasher flick made with fashion dolls. At this point, it looks like I'm not going to reach my fundraising goal- I just can't fucking hound people day after day with "please donate!" messages, but I suppose that's what you have to do, isn't it? Otherwise people forget or never find out about the project to begin with. But it's so annoying!

Anyway, no matter. I'll try again after this campaign ends; it's a pretty humble budget, I have to say, and I'll get there. If you feel like learning a bit about slasher flicks, well, head over to Diet!'s website- I wrote up a Slashers 101 for people who are unfamiliar with the subgenre....you know, the plebes.

Over at Take Back the Knife, I took a long look at the homophobia (or lack thereof, or some combination of the two) of High Tension. A bursting-at-the-seams Film Club took a field trip to The Funhouse and took a paddle to The Initiation of Sarah. Many movies I watched in November left me feeling uninspired, so I began writing shorter and shorter reviews. I mean, Growth...who cares, right? Still, I wrote a tiny review of In My Skin and that, I effing loved. How odd of me.

DECEMBER

"MOTHER JEFFERSON."


Geez, no wonder I've been feeling uninspired. The Canyon totally blew. And Soon the Darkness was only okay. The Film Club pick Sugar Hill was fun but I'm not, like, making out with it or anything. Me + horror movies really need to rekindle our shit, you know?

In the meantime, I've been writing about video games over at the brand new Jill Sandwich. Check it out sometime, why don't cha? HMM? Also, The Scare-ening made a triumphant return from its hiatus. OH YEAH, and I started selling copies of Ludlow, which is FINALLY DONE. I expect a big box of DVDs this week, and then I will start mailing them to homes and places of businesses. If you want to hop on that train, click here and do it.

Let's see, what else happened in December? Oh yeah, I started writing this post. Neat!

If you made it to the end of this chunk of self-indulgence, let me say: thanks for reading Final Girl. This look back over the year has proved...well, I guess it hasn't really proved much of anything except that 2010 is just about over- but then, you probably knew that.

Say, did you learn anything from this 2010 Final Girl retrospective, Charles Nelson Reilly?

You got that right! Happy New Year, everyone!

Dec 24, 2010

Season's Bleedings...

...to you and yours,and thanks for reading the ol' FG.

Regular posting will resume next week, after I've come out of my cookie coma. WOO!

Dec 22, 2010

Tonight is the night!

Which night, you ask? The night that The Scare-ening rises from its grave, that's which night tonight will be. Are you peeing your pants in anticipation? I hope so. Tune in live at 8pmPST/11pmEST, or stream it or download it as soon as the show is over. You can even subscribe to it on iTunes, which makes the whole thing seem very futuristic if you ask me. Which you didn't, but I'm telling you anyway.

I myself cannot wait for it, and neither can Heidi. As you can see, we're already getting gussied up all color-coordinated style to make it the best Scare-ening ever, even though you won't be able to see us while we're on the air. You'll be able to see us in your mind's eye, at least, and I guess that's not nothing.


Dec 21, 2010

Film Club: Sugar Hill

Sugar Hill (1974) proves at least one thing: if Jodie Foster had employed the use of zombies to exact revenge on her man's killers in The Brave One as Diana "Sugar" Hill does, then The Brave One would have been about 77% better. Why use a gun when you can voodoo up some undead, amirite? The same can really be said for flicks both rife with vengeance, like I Spit on Your Grave, or those with just a dash, such as Fried Green Tomatoes. It's just common sense.

Oh, and by the way- that's pretty much the entire plot of Sugar Hill up there, but to elaborate:

Nightclub owner Langston is kicked to death (rather gently, actually) by a bunch of mobsters who want protection money and the nightclub itself. When the police prove ineffective, Sugar Hill turns to voodoo priestess Mama Maitresse for help. Mama conjures up a posse of zombies and smiling ringleader Baron Samedi to do Sugar's bidding, and soon Sugar's new gang takes out the bad guys one by one.


That's really all there is to it, but when it comes to Sugar Hill, the parts are indeed greater than the whole. I'm not sure if that makes any sense, really, but what I mean is that it's the details that make this mediocre movie great. To wit:
  • Baron Samedi reminds me of Coffin Joe.
  • There is a theme song that plays over the opening and closing credits called "Supernatural Voodoo Woman" (courtesy of Motown Records).
  • The zombies have weird silver ping pong ball eyes, they're covered in cobwebs, and they smile.
  • There are two fight scenes- one where Langston is kicked to death, and one where Sugar gets in a slap fight with Celeste, the mob boss's moll. Both fights are more gentle than a springtime shower.

  • Celeste is reminiscent of Edy Williams, which makes me think about Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, which is always a good thing.
  • There is wanton cantaloupe abuse. That is not a euphemism.
  • Mama Maitresse is Mother Jefferson. I repeat: MOTHER JEFFERSON.
  • As this is a blaxploitation flick, whitey is the real bad guy and all manner of racial stereotypes and epithets fly, including "honk". Not "honky", but "honk".
  • There is a proliferation of pantsuits. Langston's suit has a giant, scalloped collar. The 70s rule.
  • There are angry, carnivorous pigs.
  • When she's in "Diana" mode, Diana has regular hair and an air of Lynda Carter about her. When she's in "Sugar"/voodoo mode, Diana sports a fro and a low-cut jumpsuit. She's so superhero!
  • The swamps of Louisiana sound like the jungle, complete with those movie monkey sounds- you know, "ooo ooo ooo AHH AHH AHH"
  • Lots of broken glass and a defenestration.
  • There is a man named Fabulous.
  • Sugar Hill comes from exploitation powerhouse American International Pictures, and just seeing the name Samuel Z. Arkoff onscreen is enough to excite a nerd like me.
Despite what you might think or expect, Sugar Hill is actually rather tame. The violence is gruesome in theory (someone is hacked to death with machetes!) but takes place offscreen, sex and nudity are nil, and while charming, Marki Bey simply doesn't have the bite to make Sugar a terribly memorable character- she's overshadowed in her own movie by Don Pedro Colley's Baron Samedi, who chews the scenery with rotten teeth. It seems that AIP was trying to make Bey the next Pam Grier, when they should have simply, you know, hired Pam Grier.

Still, it's a fun time and the zombies are fresh- err, fetid enough to thrill even those among us who are zombied out. Voodoo-style undead are woefully underutilized in horror, but Sugar Hill shows just how creepy they can be when employed effectively. And if that ain't enough to make this movie worthwhile for you, don't forget- MOTHER JEFFERSON.

Film Club Coolies, y'all!
--------------------------------
Acidemic
Maynard Morrisey's Horror Movie Diary
Dave's Blog About Movies and Such
Soresport Movies
I Will Devour Your Content
The Deadly Doll's House of Horror Nonsense
Things That Don't Suck
strange spanners
Pearce's Horror Movie Reviews
The Agitation of the Mind
Mermaid Heather

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Dec 20, 2010

you guys!

Yeah, you guys! Especially the ones who have already sent your Sugar Hill reviews to me for Film Club! There's a chance I won't get to it today, as I just realized I have 534687 other things going on today and I did not manage my time well this weekend. That's right, I didn't. So, I may have something up tonight, or maybe not until tomorrow. Who knows? I am mercurial! I realize this is a slap in the face to those of you who have already done the work, and also to those of you who are wearing your Final Girl Film Club sweatsuits today in anticipation of the events. To all of you who must wait a little bit, I say this:



Also, I say that I wish there were Final Girl Film Club sweatsuits.

Dec 17, 2010

fuh-ryeday

Over at Senceless Pie, Meg Wood done went and posted a review of Ludlow. I tells ya, once this movie gets out there (THE DVDs ARE BEING MADE WOO), I'm going to have to stop reading reviews, should any more pop up. It's way too nerve-wracking; so much so that I feel like taking to my fainting couch before I click links to read what people have to say about it. Not that I can't take (or don't expect) criticism...it's just...it makes me feel all weird. Even the good reviews. Yes, "weird"- that describes it perfectly and profoundly.

If you want to pre-order a copy of Ludlow, you can do so! Look over there to the right- LOOK OVER THERE I SAY- and click on the appropriate Paypal links.


Also, forget you not! Monday is Film Club Day, so getcher Sugar Hill on!

awesome movie poster friday - the JEAN ROLLIN edition!

Earlier this week, writer/director Jean Rollin passed away at the age of 72. To be honest, I know very little of the body of work he left behind beyond Grapes of Death and gawking at images on Jeremy Richey's superior Rollin tribute blog Fascination. I've got a couple of his movies sitting here waiting to be watched (Two Orphan Vampires and Shiver of the Vampires, to be exact), and because I'm so uninformed, I don't quite get what he was all about yet. On the very surface of things, it seems that he might be a better, more artistic Jess Franco. That's probably selling Rollin way short, but as I said, I'm just now getting into his stuff. SO SUE ME.